Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of comparative
Meaning of comparative by Wiktionary Dictionary



    Originated 1400–50 from late Middle English comparative, from Latin comparativus, equivalent to comparatus, from comparare ( “to compare” ) + -ive, from Latin -ivus .


    • ( UK, US ) IPA: /kəmˈpæɹ.ə.tɪf/, X-SAMPA: /k@m"p{r.@.tIf/


    comparative ( comparative more comparative, superlative most comparative )

    1. Of or relating to comparison .
    2. Using comparison as a method of study, or founded on something using it .
    3. Approximated by comparison; relative .
    4. ( obsolete ) Comparable; bearing comparison.

    Derived terms


    comparative ( plural: comparatives )

    1. ( grammar ) A construction showing a relative quality, in English usually formed by adding more or appending -er. For example, the comparative of green is greener; of evil, more evil .
    2. ( grammar ) A word in the comparative form .

    Related terms

    See also

    • “comparative” in The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000 .
    • “comparative” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006 .
    • "comparative" in WordNet 3.0, Princeton University, 2006 .

Explanation of comparative by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. estimated by comparison

    2. relating to or based on or involving comparison

    3. comparative linguistics
    1. the comparative form of an adjective or adverb

    2. `faster' is the comparative of the adjective `fast'
      `less famous' is the comparative degree of the adjective `famous'
      `more surely' is the comparative of the adverb `surely'

    Definition of comparative by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Comparative a. [L. comparativus: cf. F. comparatif.]
      1. Of or pertaining to comparison. “The comparative faculty.” Glanvill.

      2. Proceeding from, or by the method of, comparison; as, “the comparative sciences; the comparative anatomy”.

      3. Estimated by comparison; relative; not positive or absolute, as compared with another thing or state.

      The recurrence of comparative warmth and cold. Whewell.

      The bubble, by reason of its comparative levity to the fluid that incloses it, would necessarily ascend to the top. Bentley.

      4. ( Gram. ) Expressing a degree greater or less than the positive degree of the quality denoted by an adjective or adverb. The comparative degree is formed from the positive by the use of -er, more, or less; as, “brighter, more bright, or less bright”.

      Comparative sciences, those which are based on a comprehensive comparison of the range of objects or facts in any branch or department, and which aim to study out and treat of the fundamental laws or systems of relation pervading them; as, comparative anatomy, comparative physiology, comparative philology.

    2. Comparative, n. ( Gram. ) The comparative degree of adjectives and adverbs; also, the form by which the comparative degree is expressed; as, “stronger, wiser, weaker, more stormy, less windy, are all comparatives”.

      In comparatives is expressed a relation of two; as in superlatives there is a relation of many. Angus.

      2. An equal; a rival; a compeer. [Obs.]

      Gerard ever was

      His full comparative. Beau. & Fl.

      3. One who makes comparisons; one who affects wit. [Obs.] “Every beardless vain comparative.” Shak.